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Archive for Wednesday, October 26, 2011

40 years ago: LMH officials counter abortion claims

October 26, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Oct. 26, 1971:

A recent report claimed that since the Kansas abortion law had been changed on July 1, 1970, abortions had been performed "on the average of one every 35 hours at Lawrence Memorial Hospital" and that this represented about 10 percent of all surgery performed at LMH. According to hospital officials, "the story [had] emanated in the Kansas University student newspaper and later was picked up for circulation by the Associated Press." The report also accused LMH of discrimination in payment procedures and cost, with the result that some KU students were instead seeking illegal abortions. Charles Denniston, hospital administrator, and Dr. Henry Buck, LMH chief of obstetrics and gynecology, countered the charges, saying that fees for abortions at LMH were comparable to those charged at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City. During the first year of the new law, LMH had performed 250 abortions, about three percent of the approximately 8,400 performed that year in Kansas. The KU medical center had performed 2,500, or about 31 percent of those done in the state. About 95 percent of the LMH patients had given "threat to mental health" as their reason for seeking an abortion.

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